Friday, December 23, 2011

The Boys' First Christmas Pagent!

Last Sunday, Jack and Harry were in their first Christmas pagent, organized by Clarice, the awesome children's minister at our church. Much like t-ball in the summer, few things are more nostalgia invoking than a children's Christmas pagent. (Erica and Kurt Adam: Do you remember being the three wiseman in the DANK Christmas plays? Erica and I wore the green and blue velvet gown things, and Kurt wore a purple tunic. Then one year they decided everyone would be shepherds. We wore the same costumes and were the best dressed shepherd's Bethlehem had ever seen. And the whole thing was a poem we recited in German; we were never really sure what we were saying! Wasn't everyone a member of a German-American cultural organization?)

Jack was a wiseman, and Harry was a shepherd. The whole thing was completely adorable. All the kids walked somberly down the aisle toward the amazing set, except, of course, for Harry, who ran the whole way. As everyone laughed at him, Jack started towards the set, and thought everyone was laughing about his belt that he was suddenly self conscious about :( But other than that it was perfect. The kids sang songs like "Take Me Out to the Stable" to the tune of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and "Mary had a Baby Boy" to the tune of "Mary had a Little Lamb." All the kids did a great job, and Jack and Harry proved what little hams they are once again!

Here are some pictures!

I had to throw in one picture of Addie in her pretty dress!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Catastrophe of Elfin Proportions...

As we were rushing around the house on Friday to try and get out the door for our annual pilgrimmage to see Santa and eat at the Walnut Room, disaster struck our elf, Fred. Fred was perched on to of the chalkboard in the kitchen, where he had left a message: "Fred was here." Jack decided he wanted to write a message back to him. Half way through the "F," the chalkboard wobbled, and Fred plunged to the floor, but not before bouncing off Jack's shoulder first. Jack was devastated. Amidst his sobbing and giant tears, I learned what happened. As I tried to calm him down by explaining that it was just an accident, and that I was certain that Fred had not lost his magic when Jack accidentally touched him, Cory was giving me the signal to not say anymore. It turns out that Fred's leg had broken off and was m.i.a. As Fred was quickly hidden before the kids noticed the missing limb, I swept the kitchen floor hoping to catch the leg. While I was doing that, having told the kids that Fred was probably hiding because he was shaken up from his fall, Jack went and got a jingle bell ornament. He shook the bells saying, through sniffles, "Maybe if he hears a Christmas sound, he'll want to come back." It was simultaneously adorable and heart breaking. I was starting to panic internally about the leg when Harry piped up, "Hey! I found Fred's foot!" (Or, if you know Harry: "Hey! I thound Thred's thoot!) As he didn't seem upset at all, I thanked him for the leg and hid it in the palm of my hand. In the meantime, the bells not working, Jack remembered that in the Elf on the Shelf movie, the elf got hot chocolate as medicine to make him better. When I reached into the cabinet for a mug, Jack was concerned that it was way to big for Fred. Knowing that Addie had a little porcelain tea set in her closet, (Cory got it for her birthday,) I used that opportunity to sneak Fred and the glue gun upstairs while I looked for a suitably sized mug. The hot chocolate (and me hiding in the upstairs bathroom with a hot glue gun) worked its magic, and soon Fred was "drawn to the scent of the hot chocolate," according to Cory, and was sitting on the window sill waiting for his mug of chocolatey goodness. Jack left a few cookie crumbs, and when we got home the next night, Fred was sitting at a different window with an empty mug. And all was well with the world.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The much anticipated arrival of our elf!

For the past couple years, I have heard people talking about starting their "Elf on the Shelf" traditions. While I thought it completely charming, I thought Jack was probably too old to start a new tradition, and that he probably wouldn't believe. Happily, it turns out I was wrong.

Jack came home from school the other day with big news he was VERY excited about. When the kids got into the classroom, Santa had sent an elf! It was sitting on the clock, waiting for everyone to get there. He told me all about how the magic doesn't start until you name the elf. He wanted to name him My Best Friend, but Benny was the name that got the most votes. In an awed voice, he explained that if you touch the elf, the magic will go away. He spent about ten minutes, with Harry and Addie paying rapt attention, telling me every detail about the elf, and shared his conclusion that, "The North Pole is the only on Earth that still has real magic." It was the most perfect moment of childhood wonder and enchantment. I hope my kids can hold on to that for a long time.

He concluded by telling me that, to his amazement, Santa had actually sent elves to two kids in his class already. He said that he really hoped that Santa would decide to send one to our house. It turns out, that he needn't have worried, because, in the midst of his story, I decided we had to have an elf. He didn't notice, while he was talking, that I had flipped open the laptop and ordered this little guy. However, in true mom style, I told him that I thought that an elf would probably want to come to a house that was all decorated for Christmas. I then added that we couldn't finish decorating until the house was clean. He decided that he would work hard over the weekend helping me get everything ready so that, hopefully, an elf would come. I'm sneaky like that, and I think this situation is a win/win ;) (And, according to my tracking number, he would actually have until Tuesday. Way to go Amazon for getting it here a day early!)

After bath time, and before bedtime last night, our elf arrived! He was perched above Harry's bed waiting to meet everyone. (Upon retrospect, not a good move on my part, because they did NOT want to go to sleep after that. Every time I checked on them, they were both just staring up at the elf.) He is very little and has a book, so Jack has concluded that he is probably an elf-in-training. Since this is his first year, he needs the book to reference the elf rules, in case he forgets. We decided on the name Fred. Jack, again, wanted to name him My Best Friend, but as that was a little lengthy, I suggested Friendly. That made Jack think of Fred, which Harry agreed was a wonderful name! They have also determined that Santa sent him yesterday to help prepare for St. Nicholas Day. When they woke up this morning, they were delighted to find that St. Nicholas had also left a treat for Fred, and even more thrilled when they got home from school to find they Fred had eaten his chocolate :) Their excitement was contagious, and a new tradition is born!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crunchmaster Winner!

The winner of the yummy case (twelve bags!) of White Cheddar Crunchmaster Crackers is... entry number 2, Erica K. Congrats, and enjoy your delicious prize. If you only eat a bag a month, this would be a year's supply, but they are pretty tasty, so they probably won't last you that long ;) I will get your address info to the company in the next week, and hopefully your prize will arrive soon!!! Thank you to everyone who entered!
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